Two Tauranga men are accused of conspiring to recover a
bucket containing $500,000 from an Omanawa property under
police guard following a drug raid.
But the Crown says one of the men later lied to his associate
about how much buried loot he managed to retrieve.
The allegations against Royce Allan Duncan, 50, and Kennedy
O'Connor Williams, 26, were revealed at a hearing in the High
Court at Rotorua on Wednesday.
The pair earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of wilfully
perverting the course of justice but both deny the
The Crown allegations centre around the men's actions the day
after armed police raided Duncan's Bonniglen Rd, Omanawa
property in the early hours of September 20, 2010.
Duncan was arrested and charged with possession of pre-cursor
materials, and the property was sealed off and remained under
a police cordon until it was lifted on September 22.
The Crown alleges Williams, under Duncan's direction, crept
across the cordon into the property in the early hours of
September 21, 2010, and dug up a bucket containing half a
At the hearing Justice Peter Woodhouse was played a series of
intercepted telephone calls between Duncan and Williams and
their associates during September 21 and 24, 2010.
Crown prosecutor Greg Hollister-Jones said these calls were
clear evidence that Williams had crawled "army-style" into
the property the morning after the raid and dug up the buried
Later the same day police found a newly dug hole near the
crest of some pine trees, he said.
Mr Hollister-Jones pointed to a call between Williams and
Duncan's sister during which Williams tells her, "I found
mega, but I've recovered a bit."
Duncan is later heard quizzing Williams about the buried
"$500k" and Williams tells Duncan, "Yeah mate, I've recovered
that bucket and the big lot ... The mega lot is still all
Mr Hollister-Jones said on September 24 that Williams told a
male associate that he intended to disperse some of the cash
to the man and another associate.
He said it was clear Williams dug up the bucket of cash and
later lied to Duncan about how much he was able to retrieve.
Lawyers for Williams and Duncan told Justice Woodhouse that
the removal of an item from the property was not disputed,
but the Crown had failed to prove that the item was $500,000
Justice Peter Woodhouse reserved his decision.
Both Duncan and his associate Wallace Bramley, 38, from
Papamoa, were acquitted at trial last month on charges of
manufacturing $2.3 million worth of methamphetamine and
conspiring to supply the drug.
But the pair are to be sentenced in February in relation to a
raft of other P-manufacture and supply charges. Williams is
also awaiting sentencing on a charge of conspiring with
Duncan to supply P.
- Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times